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  • Fund for War-Affected Children and Youth in Northern Uganda
  • c/o Mary Page
  • 140 S. Dearborn Suite 1100
  • Chicago, Illinois 60603
  •  Phone: 504.314.2714
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Field Reports

WorudetLanyero Joyce is one of the conflict related SGBV survivors from Puranga Sub County in Pader district. She benefitted from the sustainable economic empowerment project implemented by WORUDET in Puranga and Ogom Sub-counties in Pader District with support from Uganda Fund in 2015. Joyce is a 38 years old woman and a single mother to two children. She is a survivor of conflict period SGBV having spent four years of her life in captivity; Joyce was countless times raped by the LRA rebels an experience that left her scarred for a very long time. Upon return she decided to restart her life with another man but unfortunately she was rejected by her family and in-laws in 2010 after they realized she was a returnee. As a single mother she had been living from hand to mouth. According to Joyce, before the project implementation in Puranga she barely had anything to earn a living and support her and her children and she had to struggle single handedly to provide for her family.


In 2015 Joyce joined Nen Anyim VSLA group one of the groups in Puranga that was initiated by WORUDET to support conflict related SGBV survivors. She was equipped with skills in onion production and VSLA at the initial stage of the project. As a group member of Nen Anyim VSLA group, Joyce received 100,000= (One Hundred Thousand Ugandan Shillings) from WORUDET as startup capital and she used the money to grow half an acre of onions in addition to the group demonstration farm. After a period of two and half months, Joyce harvested two sacks of onions which she sold and got UGX 435,000= (Four hundred and Thirty Five Thousand Shillings) an amount she had never seen. Because of the new skills she acquired in VSLA- especially how to save and invest for the future, she started her own initiative by investing part of the money in restaurant business in Puranga trading center, given there were very few restaurants at the center. From her restaurant Joyce now earns a minimum of UGX 20,000 per day and she is able to save a minimum of UGX 5,000 every day as she intends to expand her restaurant in the future. Additionally as a result of the increasing income from her restaurant and her constant participation in weekly VSLA, Joyce was able to buy three goats.pic

According to Joyce, being part of Nen Anyim VSLA group has been a source of comfort for her as she has been able to forget the past atrocities and it has given her a chance to live a better life and provide for her family. Her restaurant guarantees daily food for her family and she will continue to accumulate assets that will allow her empower her children through education so that they do not suffer any violence. She thanks WORUDET and Uganda Fund for the opportunity this project offered her.

My name is Akena Stephen, a resident of Oboke Ber village; Paicho Sub County. My life was a gamble without any hope to live for, until I joined a group called Cwero support the orphan and Vulnerable People back in the year 2007. Our major aim by then was to start up a small VSLA group that can be registered to access funding from any micro finance institution. Fortunately in 2012 Uganda fund provided us a grant of UGX 5,100,000 to improve our livelihood, we bought 70 goats then and after they had multiplied, all members were given at least two goats. I am, up to now, still in possession of those goats- currently I have 14 goats though I have been selling off some- my goats are now my money maker because the benefits I have gotten from the goats are really remarkable-for example I have been able to pay for education of my brother, additionally, I sold some of the goats and bought two oxen for farming and some of part of the money I used to buy pine seedlings.


Currently the pines have all grown up, though it’s a long term investment, it remains a symbol that I will always look at as the benefit I got from Uganda Fund. With all these benefits, I have become a role model and bread winner to my family and to the rest of my community. The goats have now turned up to be a seed of gold to my life. With the supplementary funding worth 3,400,000 from Uganda Fund, we have been supported by Trans-cultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO) to start a piggery project. We purchased 10 pigs and some part of the money we diversified in VSLA. We were also trained on VLSA skills and enterprise management. Personally, I have started integrating these skills into my daily life; in my saving and I would want to start a piggery project by the beginning of next year. Currently we have a VSLA portfolio of more than UGX 3,000,000. I have personally saved UGX 402,000 with the group. To diversify my income generating activities, I borrowed loan worth UGX 80,000 from the groups’ VSLA and used it to cultivate one hectare of chilli. I am currently harvesting it and I already have ready market. Every success today in my life is as a result of the support I got through the Uganda fund.

SAM 1283Arach Paska is a 49 years old woman, married to Odoch Justine, living in a household with 6 members, 2 of whom are her own children. Paska’s story begins in an Internally Displaced People’s, (IDP), – a period where life was terribly unpredictable, for the millions of people in these camps. Paska refers to life in the camp as uncertain, she observes that “in an IDP camp one was always wondering if they would live to see another sun-rise, life was very hard in the camp, there was very little food, no money, and there was the constant fear that the rebels would attack the camp”. For Paska the source of her fear of the rebels, the members of Lord’s Resistance Army; was not based on the horror tales of what the rebels could do, but on the fact that she suffered countless sexual abuses-One day I was gang raped by the rebels in my husband’s presence and later dumped in the bush and left for dead because I had chosen to stay back in the village instead of protected IDP camps. My relatives and husband thought I was dead and abandoned me in the bush. Luckily, I later gained consciousness and was supported by a kind hearted passerby who took me to the nearest IDP Camp in Tetugu, Koro Sub County where I lived under the protection of the UPDF and survived on relief”.

However in 2008, Paska and others were all relocated to Labora satellite IDP camp; she, along with several others, met together in an effort to forge a way forward after experiencing sexual abuses, trauma, and loss of the dear ones in the hands of the ruthless LRA fighters. However, because the group did not have a strong binding factor – save the experience of armed conflict; the group did not make much progress in helping its members heal, and reintegrate in the community. When Paska returned to her marital home in 2009, she begun subsistence agriculture, she grew crops like beans, sesame and cassava. The harvests were for household consumption, and any surplus that she got, she sold to make some money to meet her family’s basic needs. Paska says that although she worked very hard in her gardens, the crop yields were very low, and this meant that any earning she made from the gardens were very minimal – barely enough to cover the basic needs of her family. She says “I had inadequate agricultural knowledge, skills and inputs to engage in commercial farming on large scale, a situation that changed when I joined Anga Konya women’s group”. Anga Konya women group in Wang Lobo A village, Lapainat East-Koro Sub County, Omoro District has 30 members, majority of whom are survivors of conflict-related SGBV. As one of the members, Paska has benefited from many trainings and technical support from GWED-G, including but not limited to trainings in agronomy; and VSLA; and coaching and mentorship. This according to Paska has helped her make progress in many fronts including acquiring new agricultural skills that have helped her move away from subsistence farming, “I now engage in commercial farming thanks to the seeds and other farm inputs given to us by GWED-G in 2016,

Paska proudly reports that in the first season she ploughed 04 acres of rice, 2 acres of soya beans, and 3 acres of maize and subsequently harvested 35 sacks of threshed rice, 9 sacks of soya beans and 10 sacks of maize seeds respectively. In the month of July 2016, she sold majority of the harvests and left some for home consumption and a portion to re-plough in the second season. Summarily she accrued UGX 1,120,000 (One Million One Hundred and Twenty Thousand Ugandan Shillings Only) from the sale of 08 sacks of soya beans, UGX 3,300,000 from sale of 33 sacks of rice and UGX 1,260,000 from sale of maize flour. Her cumulative savings from the first season was UGX 5,680,000. Paska used UGX 3million savings and purchased 10 acres of land to further her commercial agriculture. In the second season she again planted 2 acres of maize; 1 acre of beans and 2 acres of rice. The harvests have come in and she reaped 8 sacks of maize, 4 sacks of threshed beans, and 15 sacks of threshed rice respectively. She is hopeful that when she sells these harvests she will still make good money, but sSAM 1308he is waiting for the demand to first go up before she can sell them. 

Another notable achievement is her active participation in the group’s VSLA, where she has managed to accumulate the highest savings amounting to 705,000/= (Seven Hundred and Five Thousand Ugandan Shillings only). Consistency in savings has also enabled her purchase two goats of which both have kidded. This she attributes to Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA) training where emphasis on savings was not only geared to income for survival but also acquisition of assets. Additionally Paska, a woman who did not know if she would live to see tomorrow, is now a confident woman with livestock income and assets. Paska proudly reports that, “with the income I made from the sale of harvests from my gardens, such as rice, soya beans, and maize in the first season; coupled with my continuous weekly savings in the groups’ VSLA, I have been able to buy 3 cows. My animals are now 4 – one cow calved”.

Paska’s progress is tagged to the unique characteristics she exhibits such as being very industrious, committed to communal issues, working together with others and accommodative of everyone’s opinion and above all sharing ideas and plans with her husband before engaging in any transactions. She boosts of the project because it has empowered her since she is now a true leader, practicing farming as a business and above all she is in position to train others in similar areas.

STORY OF LULUA AGNES

I am Mrs. Lulua Agnes, a middle aged woman and a mother of four children, I was abducted by the LRA in 2000 from Oniazo village in Arinyapi Sub-county. While in captivity I became a wife to one of the rebel soldiers. I returned home in 2001 with a baby boy. I had a miserable world, pitiable state of finances and health. I started a small business of making “gulugulu” (fresh cassava bread) but still I could barely feed myself and my son. I had totally lost hope and had no one to turn to. I then got married to Mr. Azo Vincent but the misery still continued that one meal a day was all what we could survive on.

Luckly in, 2015 I was absorbed under CEFORD’s Agri skills development programme. As a beneficiary, I was trained in gender action learning, VSLA, household planning, enterprise management, business planning and given two goats as start-up capital which were my turning point. These skills taught me how to have a vision and how to achieve it, plan for the little resource at home and manage it sustainably and use VSLA to supplement my financing. Because of this project I can now meet my basic needs. I have my vegetable garden of Okra that puts sugar, salt on my table because on average I get 4,000 shillings per day from Okra, the VSLA offers a fallback position when needs arises like school fees and abrupt ill-health. My goats have steadily multiplied from none to 8 goats. I am already achieving my vision of seeing all my children grow to become literate. People no longer look at me with disdain  because I have assets now and my life has continued change because of this project. I am forever grateful to CEFORD and the Uganda Fund for creating this change in my life.

 

STORY OF AUMA NANCY

Auma Nancy age 35 years is a resident of Parwech parish in Puranga Sub-county. Nancy is one of the conflict related SGBV survivors benefiting from the Sustainable Economic Empowerment Project implemented by WORUDET in Ogom and Puranga Sub-county with support from Uganda Fund. She was a victim of the LRA by 18 years and stayed in the bush for 6 years enduring constant sexual abuse. “One night I tried to escape but unfortunately I was arrested before I went far, the commander who was in charge of the operations ordered three men who were also captives to sleep with me while others watched as a lesson” Auma narrates with tears in her eyes. Unfortunately I realized when I returned home that I was HIV+.

Thanks to WORUDET I joined Cacut VSLA group in 2015 where I received news skills in growing onions and became an active member in my VSLA group. With a start-up of 100,000= (one hundred thousand shillings), I have never looked back, I invested it in production of onions which matured well and after the harvest I got 460,000= (four hundred and sixty thousand shillings) as income. I used 140,000= (one hundred and forty thousand shillings) to buy two female goats and used the rest of the money to grow soya beans in the subsequent season. This year 2016, I planted two acres of soya beans which I believe will earn me more than 1,000,000 (One million shillings). I now feel happy despite the fact that I am HIV+, my constant engagement in income generating activities and with other group members keeps me busy which makes me forget of my problems, life has indeed become better”.

With generous support from the MacArthur Foundation, the Uganda Fund commenced implementation of its year two of the three year SGBV Livelihood to provide redress to survivors of sexual- and gender-based violence (SGBV) in post-conflict greater northern Uganda through women's economic empowerment initiatives. This project aims to increase the economic independence of war-affected women so they can fully benefit from the transitional justice processes. In the year 2015, the Uganda Fund supported six (6) partners with a grant totaling to USD 120,000 to provide livelihood opportunities to survivors of war time SGBV in the greater northern region of Uganda and this include Acholi, Lango, Teso and West Nile Sub-regions The project directly touched the lives of 1,090 war time SGBV survivors through supporting identification and implementation of their income generation activities for increased household income. The women have been equipped with vocational, entrepreneurial and livelihoods skills and supported with seed money as revolving grants to boost their IGA’s. In this second year, the Uganda Fund has provided grants worth USD 270,000 to ten (10) local community-based and non-governmental organizations who were selected through a rigorous application process, to conduct economic livelihood projects for more than 1,850 conflict-related SGBV survivors in the Teso, Acholi, West Nile and Lango sub-regions. This project’s current grantees include:

LANGO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT NETWORK (LAYDNET); LAYDNET is a community-based organization (CBO) that operates in Lango region since its start in 2013. The organization’s focus includes education, environmental conservation and sustainability, agriculture and livelihoods, poverty reduction and good governance. It is youth focused organization that leads a web of 350 youth groups and women in all districts of Lango sub region. LAYDNET is implementing a one-year project aimed at providing livelihood support to war-affected women in post conflict community of Okwang and Adwari in Otuke district. The project will support 200 conflict-related SGBV survivors in 10 groups with income generation activities, training in group dynamics, farming as a business, and basic leadership skills. Village savings and loan associations (VSLAs) start up kits will also be provided. LAYDNET plans to provide goats to beneficiaries alongside the VSLAs with a component of saving with a purpose (SWAP). The organization expects to increase income levels, provide employment opportunities for targeted women, boost their ability to meet the needs of their children who are often fatherless and above all, increase their living standards by end of the project.

 ACTION FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT-UGANDA (ACOD-UG); ACOD-UG has been operating in Lango region since 2006 with a bias of improving livelihoods of community members and reducing poverty in the region. It is an NGO that was started as a self-help group by individuals interested in community development and poverty eradication. ACOD-UG is implementing a one year project entitled ‘increasing competitiveness of war-affected women in soy bean production for increased income and poverty reduction in Otwal and Aleka sub counties in Oyam districts of northern Uganda. The project will aim at increasing household income and food security among 300 women in Oyam district. Each group will be supported to produce soy beans, to conduct VSLAs, trained in post harvest handling of their farm products and marketing of their products. As a result, this project will increase the productivity and quality of soy beans, improve income of project beneficiaries by 30%, increase asset base and create employment for SGBV survivors who will be transformed into commercial soy bean farmers.

FACILITATION FOR INNOVATIONS AND SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTIVITY (FINASP-Uganda); FINASP is a humanitarian youth led organization that was started in 2010 by Makerere University students, and registered as an NGO in 2014. FINASP aim at poverty reduction and improved household livelihoods of the disadvantaged through research, proactive planning, innovations and capacity building. The gender justice and economic empowerment project (GJEEP) is a one year project being implemented with funding from the Uganda Fund. The goal of this project is to reduce poverty and improve the living standards of 360 SGBV survivors in Amuria district. The organization intends to support these groups with entrepreneurial skills, SWAP (saving with a purpose), revolving loans, business plan development, income generation project support and demonstrations of best practices. As a result, FINASP will establish six demonstrations on sustainable agricultural practices, 4 tree nursery sites in Amuria, engage the SGBV survivors in VSLAs, and establish a revolving loan scheme among others. Consequently, there will be increased income in households of survivors by end of the project.

ALERT AGENCY FOR DESIRED DEVELOPMENT (A4D); A4D-Uganda is a registered NGO established in 2009 to improve the quality of lives of vulnerable communities and promote socio-economic empowerment of the youth and women in enhancing sustainable livelihoods in Northern Uganda. A4D Uganda is implementing a project named ‘From Victims to Champions (V2C)’ for one year with funding support of from Uganda Fund. The project targets primarily 10 SGBV survivor groups in Gulu district. The overall goal of the project is to contribute to increasing household income of the SGBV female survivors through agricultural and innovative livelihood projects. The project will support targeted groups in terms of start-up capital, capacity building and linkages to finance, market and business development services. Through this project A4D expects improved productivity and income of the SGBV survivors, atleast 80 new jobs created, increased access to affordable finance, business development services and reduced poverty incidences.

GRASSROOTS RECONCILIATION GROUP (GRG); GRG has been operating as an NGO since 2007 focusing at the reintegration and reconciliation processes for over 1,200 former LRA abductees and their community members with majority of these being women. By facilitating income generating group projects, GRG’s beneficiaries simultaneously achieve economic empowerment and reconciliation.With support from the Uganda Fund, GRG is conducting a livelihood project entitled ‘Economic Empowerment for Survivors of Sexual Violence’ in Lamwo district of northern. GRG will use its unique trauma recovery and economic empowerment approach to support 120 SGBV survivors in 04 groups in Ogili sub-county over a period of one year. Specific activities will include micro finance village saving and loan approach, income generation activities through group agriculture activities, and psychosocial trauma recovery covered by GRG’s trauma project. GRG expects to realize a 200% increase in group agriculture production, 50% increase in individual incomes, 80% of project participants start or expand small businesses. 100% of participants report a decrease in stigmatization of SGBV victims.

Follow the link  below to read the full article:

http://ugandafund.org/images/SGBV_Project_2016_Grantees.pdf

US Office - Get In Touch

  •  Fund for War-Affected Children and Youth in Northern Uganda
  • c/o Mary Page
  • 140 S. Dearborn Suite 1100
  • Chicago, Illinois 60603
  •  Phone: 504.314.2714
  •  info@ugandafund.org

 

 

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  •  Uganda Fund
    Plot 3 Erinayo Oryema Road
    Kanyagoga
    P.O. Box 1541
    Gulu, Uganda
  •  Phone: +256.790.916.017
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